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Public Health (24-09-2008)

Limiting the exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (EMF) (0 Hz - 300 GHz)

On 1 September 2008, the Commission adopted the second Implementation Report of the Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of the exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields  (0 Hz - 300 GHz) (COM(2008)532).
The rapid increase in mobile telecommunications and the growing range of personal, domestic, commercial and medical equipment has increased the number of sources of EMF exposure[1]. This is also changing the level, type and pattern of the public's daily exposure. It is the responsibility of Member States’ to protect their citizens from these potential health risks.
The Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC has established a set of basic restrictions and reference levels to provide guidance to the Member States and to create a basis for EU product safety legislation. In 2002, the Commission presented its first implementation report. This second report relates to the situation in EU-27. It is based on information received from the Member States and presents an update on initiatives taken by the Commission to review the available scientific knowledge.
Most Member States have implemented the Council Recommendation either via legislative acts or decrees or via voluntary recommendations. In general, measures in countries where the Council Recommendation is not yet fully implemented are being improved. However, specific implementation measures vary significantly between countries.
For more information on the Commission's activities in risk assessment please go to:

[1]               Static fields used in medicine (MRI), welding and transport systems fed by DC power; Extremely low frequencies (ELF) (0 to 300 Hz) used in household appliances; Intermediate Frequencies (IF) (300 Hz — 100 kHz) used in video displays, anti-theft devices, card readers, metal detectors, electro surgery; Radiofrequencies (RF) (100 kHz to 300 GHz) used in wireless communications such as GSM, UMTS, Wireless LAN and RFID for both mobile devices and base stations, hospital applications, radio and TV broadcasting.